Bicycle Mechanics - how is road handlebar width measured?
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Handlebar size is center to center or outside to outside?
I can't find answer.
09-11-02, 11:31 PM
I know that Bontrager road bars are measured center to center at the ends of the drops.
I don't know if that is universal, but Bicycling Magazine's "Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" (1999) says (on page 265):
"The width (usually measured center to center across the bottom portion of the bars) should come close to the width of your shoulders."
They go on to say that bars that are too narrow can restrict breathing. Wider bars give more leverage. I have been using 42 cm bars, but the new Trek 520 I bought has 44 cm bars. I can't feel the difference. My wife noticed since the difference between old and new was about two inches. She hasn't made any mention of it since the first hour long ride.
Most bike measurements are center-to-center, with the exception of some frame sizes (especially MTB's) that are ctr-to-top on the seat tube.
09-12-02, 06:21 AM
Some are center to center, some are outside to outside. Bicycling had a little thing in this a few months ago and included a table of several popular brands showing how the mfr measures. Mfr websites sometimes include this info. At nashbar.com sometimes there are buttons for "More Info" on the product you are looking at. Several of the bars list how they are measured in that area. The rule of thumb is to measure your shoulders across the "points" at the front corners then get the next larger size bar.
Dalex.........The generalization does not fly.Especailly with handlebars,or even frame sizes.
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